The thing I find really incredible in the newspapers this week with regards to the replay of the AFL Grand Final, isn't the fact that there is going to be a replay, but that Rules players are somehow "soft" for not playing extra time. Just quietly me thinks that people who hold this opinion are on the whole, part of the increasingly obese and sedentary portion of society and have never done a day of sport since they left high school.
These are the facts.
Rugby League is played for 40 minutes a half. The current format for deciding extra time is the "golden point" rule. In the Roosters - Tigers match last weekend, the match was finally ended in the 101st minute.
Football is played for 45 minutes a half. Extra time if it is to be played then goes on for two periods of 15 minutes.
Australian Rules Football is played for 25 minutes a quarter with time added on for stoppages which typically add on about 7 minutes a quarter.
Now if you follow through the maths and work out the longest typical match for the three codes, you get:
Rugby League = 40mins + 40mins + golden point = 101mins (longest to date)
Football = 45mins + 45mins + 15mins ET + 15mins ET = 120mins
Australian Rules = 32mins + 32mins + 32mins + 32mins = 128mins (typical).
For a regular match, the players are already on the field for longer than a match played to extra time in either Football or Rugby League. In fact the Roosters - Tigers match last weekend which ended in the 101st minute would probably be only just into the fourth quarter of a normal Australian Rules football match.
Accusations which have appeared in the letters column to the Daily Toiletpaper and the Sydney Moaning Herald, are entirely unfounded.
At the end of 131 minutes between the Pies and the Saints at the MCG last weekend (I checked the actual timekeeping), we saw a lot of players who were quite frankly exhausted and within good reason. They'd played their guts out in one of the most exciting finals we've seen in 30 years, and were understandably both physically and mentally drained.
Do you honestly expect them to fight out another period of extra time? Would that mean a match which would last yet another 32 minutes, bringing us up to a neat 160?
Meanwhile I bet that for the vast majority of people complaining, their biggest amount of physical exertion consisted of extending their thumbs to operate the remote, maybe making a run to to kitchen to get more beer and chips, and moving their corpulent posteriors around the couch.
Obviously with such experience, they're in the perfect position to tell Australian Rules players that they're "soft"; especially since the only grab they may have done all afternoon was a flame-grilled Whopper for some unknown reason.